As an active faith community guided by Spirit and our testimonies, our yearly meeting has abundant energy to act on a variety of common concerns and leadings. When we combine the energies of different Friends and meetings our work and witness grows and can be truly powerful. Two new vehicles for coalescing that energy are Collaboratives and Sprints supported by and in the care of the yearly meeting. Friends are organizing using these new vehicles! We are excited to announce four new Collaboratives and two new Sprints. They are:
Friends of Color Retreat Sprint: Providing opportunities for Friends of color to gather together to actively support and enhance the welcome, safety and spiritual growth of Friends of color as full members of our Society.
Nuts and Bolts of Monthly Meetings Conversation Spaces Sprint: Exploring the use of Online Conversation areas for sharing tips and techniques related to nuts and bolts functions at Monthly Meetings such as Finances, Burial Grounds, and Legal Matters.
Eco-Justice Collaborative: Planning ways to share in monthly and quarterly meetings the message that racial inequality, economic inequality and climate disruption are parts of a whole; addressing climate disruption as a spiritual commitment & a grounding concern.
India Friends Collaborative: Partnering with Ghandian Quakers in India to support landless and tribal peoples in great need, supporting in particular the village of Bhimkothi in cooperation with Unami Meeting. Supporting and visiting with Quakers in India, primarily in Madya Pradesh. Helping to preserve the historic Rasulia Friends Center.
Legislative Policy Collaborative: Visiting PYM monthly meetings to support their witness and collaborate on effective national policy goals. Encouraging monthly meetings to participate in the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Priorities Process. Supporting monthly meeting FCNL contacts, and communication between meetings and the FCNL Representatives.
Middle East Collaborative: Carrying forward the concerns of PYM Friends regarding the Middle East Region. Joining with other faith communities in the region as a representative of Quaker witness, faith, and practice. Mobilizing Friends across the Yearly Meeting with common concerns.
Spiritual Formation Collaborative: Meeting our intention to deepen spiritually in our meeting communities. Friends will visit your meeting and help you increase the spiritual vitality.
Individual Calls to Ministry Collaborative: Helping communities support their members who’ve come under the weight of a leading and individuals to follow their inner guides.
So how do these groups work? Picture two bicycles. Each of these bikes has lots of seats and pedals and uses the energy and direction of the Friends on the bike to achieve goals. The Collaborative bike is on a journey, stopping off at different times and places to launch projects and activities related to the shared leadings of the Friends riding the bike. They pick up other Friends along the way, maybe even whole groups of Friends (this bike has infinite seats and pedals!) The Collaboratives help us be community organized by providing a vehicle for Friend’s common leadings and concerns.
The other bicycle is a Sprint bike. This team on this bike may be sent out by a Collaborative or form on its own for a particular goal or project. The Friends on this bike have a specific destination in mind and a general idea of when they will get there. They may be seen rushing quickly down the street to respond to a leading or concern “in the moment”.
Collaboratives and Sprints are just two of the vehicles for activity within our yearly meeting community! Other ways to engage include Resource Friends and Committees. To propose an idea, visit the Quaker Life Council page on the PYM website. The Quaker Life Council will help discern the right direction for your work. If you are not ready to apply as a group, but want to find other Friends with similar leadings, fill out the Work and Witness Connection form and we will connect you with Friends who may share concern.
The PYM Community Engagement Coordinator can help you connect with the new Collaboratives and Sprints or others who may share your concerns. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 215 241-7238.